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The need for telepathy in Sci-Fi?

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  • #16
    <<One could "read" moods or desire, or subtly control others.>>

    It showed in the B&W video the woman putting her hands parallel and very close to the table and she'd move a penny (I think it was a penny, or I am just filling in the blank memory with Talia's practice piece) around.

    That which you describe is probably what psi abilities really are, not a manifestation of the "unused" part of our brains. Althought it would certainly take a certain measure of brain control to manipulate the EM fields.
    Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

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    • #17
      Z'ha-
      Yep, that's it. In the book, one had to learn to "see" the EM fields before they could interpret or manipulate them. Even the geographical locations were significant, certain places were more conducive to the process.

      I sure hope no one thinks I'm promoting the philosphy in that book (Celestine Prophecy). It was an interesting read, but I'm certainly not inclined to pack it all in and head to South America to investigate it. Although I do have a personal dream to see Machu Picchu in Peru. But then again, Machu Picchu is REAL!

      Careful there, I don't want of offend anyone who takes the novel more seriously than I. It's not that I would never believe it, I'm more pragmatic about it. Well, maybe agnostic would be a better word to use in this case. I endeavor to keep an open mind
      "The cat is not evil for killing the rat, nor is the rat evil for stealing the grain. Each acts according to its nature." Master Po - Kung Fu:TOS

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Ben-Thayer Dunnthaedt
        Z'ha-

        Although I do have a personal dream to see Machu Picchu in Peru. But then again, Machu Picchu is REAL!

        Machu Picchu is real ?! OMG! When did they prove that one?!
        Anthony Flessas
        Writer/Producer/Director,
        SP Pictures


        I have no avatar! I walk in mystery and need nothing to represent who and what I am!

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        • #19
          Re: Re: Re: The need for telepathy in Sci-Fi?

          Originally posted by Radhil
          Well, either you're confused, or I am. Because I thought we were talking about science fiction here. The whole point of coming up with crap like FTL and teleporters and psionics is that we can't do them now and we can't prove they exist or ever will.

          If you just think psionics overused, then fine. But it's kinda like objecting to spaceships - it's one of the staples of the genre, and it's not going to go away. Especially since it raises several important questions about how we deal with the privacy (or lack thereof) of our minds and lives - questions that are being tested by current technology already.

          And just because I really like this line...
          Wash - "Psychic, though? I mean, isn't that like science fiction?"
          Zoe - "We live in a space ship, dear."
          Wash - "So?"
          Firefly - Objects in Space
          I am sure that it is me who is confused..... Not an uncommon state of mind for me.....

          I am certainly not objecting to the fictional aspects of science fiction. I am saying that there is a big difference between postulating a technical advance such as FTL travel or even alien life as opposed to psionics. There is simply no scientific basis for psionics. Telepathic powers, in my opinion, are fantasy devices, not technical or scientific devices.

          Now, as an aside, the whole techno-mage sub-arc is a much better presentation. The AC Clarke axiom is waved around with a bit of a heavy hand, but the mages are a scientifically plausible device. Now that I think about it, if they lost the robes and the 1000 parsec stares, maybe the technomages would have been a good substitute for Psi Corps.

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          • #20
            Re: Re: The need for telepathy in Sci-Fi?

            Originally posted by grumbler
            Cannot recall for sure, but I don't remember any of these in the modern SF smash hit The Matrix. Are we any longer holy?
            An excellent example that I had not considered. But Matrix falls into the apocalytic genre which has it own set of stereotypes. Can we say Terminator or Mad Maxx anyone?

            Again. I have no problem with stereotypes or suspension of disbelief in sci-fi (though I absolutely draw the line at the immaculate conception of Anakin Skywalker.), but I do have a problem with mixing sci-fi and fantasy. Probably just my own personal preference.

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            • #21
              Re: Re: Re: The need for telepathy in Sci-Fi?

              Originally posted by Vorpal
              Again. I have no problem with stereotypes or suspension of disbelief in sci-fi (though I absolutely draw the line at the immaculate conception of Anakin Skywalker.), but I do have a problem with mixing sci-fi and fantasy. Probably just my own personal preference.
              I share your concern for the possibility that "SF" is being distorted in the average person's mind with the confusion between fantasy SF movies like "Star Wars" and "hard SF" stuff like B5. One of the things I enjoyed about B5 was its earnest attempt to try to stay as close to the "science" as possible, while still allowing unexplained things like prophecy. I actually had a harder time with the time-travel aspects of the show than the telepath aspects.

              Yeah, they had to gloss over some of the details like how the "centrifical gravity" system on the station would really work (because it would be far too expensive and distracting to have C&C at about 1/3 gravity, which it would have based on its position and the fact that there was still only a single G at the skin). But they made an honest attempt, and that is always cool!

              Now, why no one has made a movie out of probably the best "hard science" SF story of the last 25 years, The Mote in God's Eye, is beyond me.
              I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

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              • #22
                Re: Re: Re: Re: The need for telepathy in Sci-Fi?

                Originally posted by grumbler
                One of the things I enjoyed about B5 was its earnest attempt to try to stay as close to the "science" as possible, while still allowing unexplained things like prophecy.
                The prophecy wasn't unexplained, now was it? Or are you referring to some other prophecy than Valen's coming-of-shadows prophecy thingy?

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                • #23
                  The prophecy wasn't unexplained, now was it? Or are you referring to some other prophecy than Valen's coming-of-shadows prophecy thingy?
                  It would depend on which prophecy we're talking about, there were many. Although the Minbari Religious caste seemed to discuss prophecy a good deal more than anyone else, other races had their prophecies. The Centauri regarded prophecy quite highly, as seen in Eyes (she told me I would be killed by Shadows) and also in Point of No Return with Majel Barrett. In fact, Londo said that the Centauri had dreams in which they saw their own demise, another form of prophecy (not explained, just discussed). The Brakiri regarded comets as harbingers of doom, kind of like a prophecy. OK, not exactly.....but sort of kind of. And the shadows as well. Anna Sheridan told JS that the Shadows believed they would die if anything remotely Vorlon touched Z'ha'dum. I'm not sure if everyone agrees that this was actually a prophecy, but it sure came true.

                  I know we already discussed the issue of the first ones having (or not having) knowledge of the future , so I'll apologize up front for asking if someone could please explain how the Shadows KNEW this would happen? In this case we have a direct correlation...the shadows firmly believed they would die if anything Vorlon touched ZHD, and then it happened exactly as they said. With the Vorlons things are always cryptic, but this example is pretty straightforward. Not to kick a dead horse, but I'm just curious about everyone's opinion of this one example. Then no more on this subject, I promise!
                  "The cat is not evil for killing the rat, nor is the rat evil for stealing the grain. Each acts according to its nature." Master Po - Kung Fu:TOS

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Ben-Thayer Dunnthaedt
                    I know we already discussed the issue of the first ones having (or not having) knowledge of the future , so I'll apologize up front for asking if someone could please explain how the Shadows KNEW this would happen? In this case we have a direct correlation...the shadows firmly believed they would die if anything Vorlon touched ZHD, and then it happened exactly as they said. With the Vorlons things are always cryptic, but this example is pretty straightforward. Not to kick a dead horse, but I'm just curious about everyone's opinion of this one example. Then no more on this subject, I promise!
                    Try the simplest - the last 3 Vorlon things the Shadows touched tuned out to be booby traps. So they learned not to touch anything made by the Vorlons.
                    Andrew Swallow

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Ben-Thayer Dunnthaedt
                      I know we already discussed the issue of the first ones having (or not having) knowledge of the future , so I'll apologize up front for asking if someone could please explain how the Shadows KNEW this would happen? In this case we have a direct correlation...the shadows firmly believed they would die if anything Vorlon touched ZHD, and then it happened exactly as they said. With the Vorlons things are always cryptic, but this example is pretty straightforward. Not to kick a dead horse, but I'm just curious about everyone's opinion of this one example. Then no more on this subject, I promise!
                      But did that bit of prophecy actually come true? The only thing the Whitestar really touched was the dome, and the damage actually came from bombs not of Vorlon manufacture. Also, there was a lot of damage to the main city, but Z'ha'dum wasn't destroyed and the Shadows weren't all killed. Perhaps the Shadows just felt that the conflict between them and the Vorlons was so bitter, the Vorlons could never come without it being a pretty big, bad and ugly thing., thus creating a feeling more than a true prophecy.
                      "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

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                      • #26
                        the last 3 Vorlon things the Shadows touched tuned out to be booby traps. So they learned not to touch anything made by the Vorlons.
                        Wow......I don't seem to remember this. Could you elaborate?
                        "The cat is not evil for killing the rat, nor is the rat evil for stealing the grain. Each acts according to its nature." Master Po - Kung Fu:TOS

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                        • #27
                          WC-

                          Actually, the Whitestar was shown crashing through the dome, so it did make it beyond that perimiter (somewhat). But to quote Mackie, "we're splitting a hair mighty thin". And you do make some good points. If you've read the Technomage novels it's revealed that Galen also had a pretty big role in that whole scenario as well. Oh man I hope I'm not mixing stuff up again

                          Nevertheless, the Shadows did believe strongly that this would happen, and it did happen......making this one example a little more difficult to explain easily as some of the other examples of foreknowledge we discussed previously.

                          PLEASE note that I didn't say it proves anything whatsoever, just that it's a little harder to explain.
                          "The cat is not evil for killing the rat, nor is the rat evil for stealing the grain. Each acts according to its nature." Master Po - Kung Fu:TOS

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                          • #28
                            There is a fourth tenent of all sci-fi and that is that all doors open automatically and make a polite swishing sound. Douglas Adams had this one pegged.

                            On the development of telepathy in many science fiction works, I think it is an outcome of predicting the evolution of human physiology.

                            When writing sci-fi one must "evolve" or predict science into the future eg: space travel (warp drive, jump gates, ion drives...?), communications (tachyon relays or ansibles...?) general technology (computer interfaces, swishing doors, transporters, washrooms...), social systems, the role of religion or the economy and so on so that you get the idea.

                            I think much of the idea of telepathy is what one imagines when applying these predictions / evolutions to the physiology of ourselves. Will we become, stronger, hairier, taller shorter? Let the writer decide. One thing in common is that most of our evolution as portrayed does not center on our physicality, but on our mental abailities. Our common perception is that the next level of evolution for humans is of the mind, not the body and that the next evloution of the mind is for the mind to be able to do things without the limit of the body. hence, communication, movement, sensing/seeing using the mind alone is commonly seen as our next evolutionary step.

                            Personally for my 2 cents, although it might not make for good televised storytelling, I think much of the actual advancement will happen in machine / human interface. We laughed in Star Trek iV when Scotty talks into the computer mouse, but I think we will find it closer to Asimov's view in the Second Foundation (I think) around an interface that allows you to think and have a machine obey.

                            Cheers,

                            Mac.

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                            • #29
                              <<(though I absolutely draw the line at the immaculate conception of Anakin Skywalker.)>>

                              That would be Virgin Birth, but you're right. I am still hoping that will be explained in the last installment of the prequel trilogy, which is unfortunately sure to suck as bad as I and II.

                              Even if the movie sucks, I believe the novelization will be good, as it's being written by Matt Stover, who also wrote Star Wars books Traitor and Shatterpoint. Both are dark, great reads, and the latter is about Mace Windu (Sam Jackson's character) and he could finish off what he started in Shatterpoint in the novelization. That's what I'm hoping for. But that droid general guy looks pretty lame. I hate CG.
                              Last edited by Dr Maturin; 06-14-2004, 12:31 PM.
                              Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The need for telepathy in Sci-Fi?

                                Originally posted by Stunaep
                                The prophecy wasn't unexplained, now was it? Or are you referring to some other prophecy than Valen's coming-of-shadows prophecy thingy?
                                As others have pointed out, there were many, many examples of prophecies in the series, and the mechanism by which they came true is never explained - which is as it should be.

                                There are many mysteries never explained, such as how was it determined who visited you on the Day of the Dead. I like that and support the idea that over-explaining can spoil the entire effect. JMS, I think, has a good feel for what should be mysterious and what should be explained.
                                I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

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